Types of Oils and Nu­tri­tional As­pects

Consumer Voice - - Comparative Test -

Not only must the right amount (15 per cent to 20 per cent) of fats and oils be present in a diet ap­pro­pri­ate for hu­man health, but they must also be the right kind and qual­ity of fats and oils. There are two fatty acids, omega-6 li­noleic acid (LA) and omega-3 al­pha-li­nolenic acid (LNA), that our body can­not man­u­fac­ture and there­fore must come from an out­side source. For this rea­son, omega-6s and omega-3s are called es­sen­tial fatty acids (EFAs). They are used to make hor­mones, build cell mem­branes, and help con­trol blood pres­sure and blood clot­ting. The omega-3s also help re­duce the risk of heart dis­ease, im­prove dry skin con­di­tions, en­hance brain func­tion, and re­duce in­flam­ma­tion as­so­ci­ated with arthri­tis. Polyun­sat­u­rated fats are the best sources of the EFAs. Corn, saf­flower, sun­flower, soy­bean, sesame and pump­kin seed oils are all high in omega-6 fatty acids. Only a few polyun­sat­u­rated oils con­tain omega-3s. Flax seed oil con­tains the most omega-3s (58 per cent), fol­lowed by pump­kin seed oil (0 per cent to 15 per cent), wal­nut oil (5 per cent) and soy­bean oil (4 per cent). Of the mo­noun­sat­u­rated fats, only canola oil con­tains a mea­sur­able amount of omega-3 fatty acids (11 per cent). Olive oil and peanut oil have vir­tu­ally none. Although re­fined and un­re­fined oils of the same va­ri­ety con­tain sim­i­lar fatty acid com­po­si­tions, the high-tem­per­a­ture—over 82 de­grees Cel­sius—pro­cess­ing of re­fined oils can dam­age EFAs, cre­at­ing high lev­els of free rad­i­cals that can be dan­ger­ous to your health. Tem­per­a­tures above 160 de­grees Cel­sius cause un­sat­u­rated fatty acids to form trans-fatty acids, a type of fat not nor­mally present in oils that can clog ar­ter­ies and in­crease the risk of can­cer. Fur­ther­more, un­re­fined oils con­tain more vi­ta­min E, chloro­phyll and phy­tos­terols than re­fined oils. Un­re­fined saf­flower, sun­flower, and corn oil con­tain the high­est amounts of vi­ta­min E, fol­lowed by sesame, soy­bean, peanut and lastly olive oil. A word of cau­tion here: Peo­ple with di­a­betes may need to be care­ful about sun­flower oil as it may lead to in­creas­ing sugar lev­els. Source: www.nu­tri­en­tas­sist.com

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